Latest Rail News

10.08.18

Rail industry to cut the jargon on confusing train tickets

Passengers will soon be reading clear and concise information on their train tickets as part of the industry’s drive to cut rail jargon.

Following findings from KPMG that a fifth (22%) of people don’t think it is easy to understand the type of ticket needed for each journey, the Rail Delivery Group led calls to eliminate 1.6 million instances of potentially misleading jargon within the next two years.

Potentially misleading text such as ‘Route Direct’ and ‘Any Permitted’ will be phased out and clarified to help passengers buy the correct ticket.

Additionally, the industry will look to replace phrases with over-simplified terminology, such as by outlining the specific station like ‘London Paddington’ instead of the current ‘London Terminals’ method.

The changes mean that uses of ‘Route Direct’ and ‘Any Permitted’ will be removed where there is only one way to travel, or replaced with the name of a major station the train passes through or where a customer must change train.

The decision to end ambiguity across the nation’s rail tickets follows revelations that more than a third of people do not trust that they are always getting the best deal available.

ORR findings identify an improvement of 11% of passengers using ticket vending machines: 91% of users are now buying the most appropriate ticket for their journey.

If customers purchase the wrong ticket through a ticket vending machine and have paid too much, all 17 train companies now have a price guarantee in place to refund the additional cost.

Chief executive of Transport Focus, Anthony Smith, said: “Rail passengers find fares and ticketing complex and confusing. Action to remove jargon is a significant step towards a fares system that passengers find easy to use.

“However, over the longer term some more fundamental reforms are still needed if train companies are ever going to enjoy the trust of the travelling public. The current consultation will make sure passengers’ views are heard as the industry works to reform its complicated fares system.”

Jason Webb, deputy managing director of customer portfolio at the RDG, said it can be confusing to buy a ticket on the train with “outdated” jargon unique to rail. He added the industry is making “huge efforts” to make the ticket buying process easier.

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Image credit: Marco Rosario Venturini Autieri

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